Tag Archives: thermoelectric modules

The New Qpedia Thermal eMagazine is Out

Qpedia Thermal eMagazine, Volume 7, Issue 4, has just been released and can be downloaded at: http://www.qats.com/Qpedia-Thermal-eMagazine/Back-Issues.

Featured articles in this issue include:

Dropwise Condensation in Vapor Chambers
Considerable attention has been devoted in the past to the evaporation process taking place in a vapor chamber. However, increased heat fluxes at the condensation end have prompted efforts to improve the condensation performance of the vapor chambers. This article presents a review of a novel method for improving the thermal performance of a vapor chamber condensing section by using special surfaces promoting dropwise condensation.


Heat Sink Manufacturing Using Metal Injection Molding

Using Metal Injection Molding It is only in the last few years that metal injection molding (MIM) has gained a foothold in the thermal community and its salient advantages have become more evident. The MIM process allows intricate features to be added into the heat sink design to boost thermal performance and its production process is very scalable compared with machining. Injection molding enables complex parts to be formed as easily as simple geometries, thereby allowing increased design freedom.  This article explore the merits of copper material in the MIM process.


Industry Developments: Thermoelectric Modules and Coolers

Thermoelectric modules (TEMs) are rugged, reliable and quiet devices that serve as heat pumps. The real heat-moving components inside TEMs are thermoelectric coolers or TECs. These are solid-state heat pumps and are designed for applications where temperature stabilization, temperature cycling, or cooling below ambient, are required. Today, TEMs are used in electro-optics applications, such as the cooling and stabilizing of laser diodes, IR detectors, cameras (charge coupled device), microprocessors, blood analyzers and optical switches. This article explores some of the latest developments in these devices.


Technology Review: Reducing Thermal Spreading Resistance in Heat Sinks

In this issue our spotlight is on reducing spreading resistance in heat sinks. There is much discussion about how this phenomenon can be achieved, and these patents show some of the salient features that are the focus of different inventors.


Cooling News featuring the latest product releases and buzz from around the electronics cooling industry.


Download the issue now.


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Using Thermoelectric Coolers in Electronics Cooling

Thermoelectric devices are semiconductor modules which use the Peltier Effect to create a heat flux between the junctions of two different types of materials. Named after French physicist Athanase Peltier, the Effect shows that a temperature differential is created when DC current is applied across two dissimilar materials. (It is one of the three thermoelectric effects; the others are the Seebeck Effect and Thomson Effect.)

A typical thermoelectric module is manufactured using two thin ceramic wafers with a series of N and P doped bismuth-telluride semiconductor material sandwiched between them. The ceramic material adds rigidity and the necessary electrical insulation. The N type material has excess electrons, while the P type material has a deficit of electrons. One N and one P make up a couple.

When a DC current is applied to the circuit, the thermoelectric module can work as a cooler or heater depending on the current’s direction. A thermoelectric cooler (TEC), or solid state heat pump transfers heat from one side of the device to the other side against the temperature gradient. Many products use thermoelectric coolers, including small refrigeration systems, CCD cameras, laser diodes and portable picnic coolers. They are also used in the thermal management of microprocessors, memory modules and other electronic devices.

Although a TEC provides a very simple and reliable solution for cooling devices, its poor thermal performance prevents its broader usage. Compared with traditional refrigeration systems, the coefficient of performance (COP) of a TEC is only about 1/5 that of a refrigeration system using a vapor compression cycle. Currently, the uses of TECs in electronics cooling are limited to systems that require temperature stability or sub-ambient operating conditions, or specially designed devices. Laser beam components and high energy optical modules are such examples.